A recent survey of 200 UK IT directors has found that 92 percent believe that, by allowing more staff to work remotely, they are increasing their security risks. Even though all respondents said that their workforce was increasingly mobile, 80 percent admitted they found it difficult to manage and secure ever-more sophisticated mobile devices.
Roger Hockaday from Aruba Networks comments: “As smart phones and other mobile devices become increasingly popular, they pose an increasing security threat to the unprepared business. For an easier life, many IT departments would choose to limit the devices that are allowed to access corporate networks – but with demand for the coolest gadgets often coming from senior executives – this choice is often taken away from them.”
As demonstrated by this survey, today’s challenge is how to support such a wide variety of devices, particularly as most of these devices were not built with business needs in mind. Short of imposing a Draconian ban on consumer mobile devices for employees, organizations should be looking to an appropriate strategy of prioritizing, managing and viewing all devices on the corporate network.
Unfortunately, many IT departments are still stuck in the mindset of securing wired networks and fixed corporate devices. The fact that mobile devices rarely, if ever, connect to the legacy wired network calls for a complete rethink of security and management options if organizations are to properly support today’s mobile workforce. Modern wireless networks, that are not grounded in the dogma of port-based, location-specific wired networks, present a viable solution and allow the new tranche of mobile devices to be connected to a network fit, and secure enough for the job – without impacting employee freedom.